New Laws Take Effect Friday

This Friday, July 1, occupies a prominent place on the Hoosier calendar. It is the date when most of the laws approved during the past year’s Indiana General Assembly take effect.
“The new state budget also takes effect on July 1. I feel the disastrous implications of that document will be felt by most Hoosiers for years to come,” said State Representative Terry Goodin. “In the months ahead, I will continue to discuss the way it will hurt you.”
Goodin outlined a few of the new laws that are sure to get some attention.
Starting July 1, you won’t be able to send or read text messages when you are driving, unless you are reporting on an emergency or using hands-free technology. Previously, this ban had been in place only for drivers under 18 years of age.
“The intention of this legislation is honorable- the statistics showing the increasing numbers of accidents caused by driver inattention are alarming- but I wonder how easy it will be to enforce this ban. Perhaps its greatest value will be to make people take a moment to think whether they actually need to be on the phone when behind the wheel,” said Goodin.
Starting July 1, it will be illegal to sell or use synthetic cannabinoids, which are better-known under terms like spice and K2. The problems caused by spice gained statewide attention last year, when a number of counties across Indiana chose to ban it after news reports about the drug causing adverse reactions and possibly causing some deaths.
Starting July 1, not everyone will have to show an ID when they’re buying carry-out alcohol. If you look like you’re older than 40 years of age, you won’t be asked to prove that you’re over 21. You’ll still have to show ID if you look younger than 40.
Starting July 1, it will be against the law to take a photo of another person’s private area without their consent. The penalties will be enhanced if you then choose to send that photo to someone else or post it on the Internet.
Starting July 1, motor vehicle owners who intentionally fail to pay for gasoline when it is pumped will be liable for paying the cost of the gas and a $50 service charge.
Starting July 1, there will be tougher restrictions placed on the sale of dissolvable tobacco products that resemble toothpicks or pieces of candy like breath mints. These restrictions will make it more difficult for young people to gain access to these products, which sometimes go by the name “tobacco candy.”